#throwbackThursday: U2 “Acrobat” or the more things change the more they stay the same

Usually, my throwback Thursday pieces have nothing to do with politics. This week, however, while I will refrain from any political statements. I will admit that today’s post is inspired by today’s political events.  Specifically, the bombing of Syria and the current midterm elections. From the deafening silence of the anti-war left, to the schism in my own party you have to admit hypocrisy runs deep within all sides.

It is that final thought that brings me to my song for this throwback Thursday. The year is 1991 and the rock band U2 released one of their greatest (if not their greatest album) Achtung Baby. It was released in November so must of my memories stem from 1992. In fact. I can say 1992 was the last year where my back didn’t effect my life.

I know I said I would dedicate Thursday to talking about some of my physical struggles but today is more about the psyche and moral growth.

My favorite song on the Achtung Baby album was, is and, I suspect, forever will be, “Acrobat.” The song’s theme of hypocrisy, moral confusion and alienation touched me the very first time I heard the song. It’s lyrics reflected how I felt back then and 23 years later I find them to be just as poignant.

The difference now is I hear them as a man who as made his choices and understands the complexities of life, where before I was a young man who still looked at the world through idealistic eyes without any concept of the difficulties life would bring my way.

Back then I was young and invulnerable.

I would learn.

Much sooner than anyone would suspect.

Now, looking at the lyrics I find, other than moral confusion, the themes still run very deep. Back in my younger days I think my hormones played havoc with some of those moral issues…

But I digress.

As the song says:

And I must be an acrobat
To talk like this and act like that.
And you can dream, so dream out loud
And don’t let the bastards grind you down.

What are we going to do now it’s all been said?
No new ideas in the house, and every book’s been read.

And I must be an acrobat
To talk like this and act like that.
And you can dream, so dream out loud
And you can find your own way out.
And you can build, and I can will
And you can call, I can’t wait until
You can stash and you can seize
In dreams begin responsibilities
And I can love, and I can love
And I know that the tide is turning ’round
So don’t let the bastards grind you down.

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